Well, I wouldn’t be fond of being hanged for speaking my mind, so when I read the news story from Bangladesh, I get a bit tense. Just see what they are saying:
Thousands of Islamist protesters marched the streets of Bangladesh’s capital, calling for the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.
I’m not interested in being told what I can, and can’t, write about, I’m sorry to say. If I want to write about things I think is flawed in Islam, I will damn well do so. Just as I will write about it if I think Christianity has a flaw, Hinduism has a flaw, Buddhism has a flaw, and so on.
The current punishment for defaming religion online in Bangladesh carries a jail sentence of up to 10 years in jail.
Define defaming? According to Wikipedia, Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In common law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).
OK, by that definition I defame Islam, as well as other religions.
Define blasphemy? Wikipedia again: Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity or the irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things.
By that definition I’m blasphemous as well.
I am showing a lack of reverence for all and any religious deity, just by not believing in them. I do also show a lack of reverence towards i.e. the pope, any priest, sufi, imam, and other religious leaders. Not as people, but as religious leaders. I’ve had loads of interesting conversations with both Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders, and as people I respect them a lot, but I still don’t respect their religion.
I mean seriously, here’s my definition of blasphemy (it’s near the wikipedia one, but I add some words to it):
Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for your religious deity or the irreverence towards your religious or holy persons or things.
See the difference? I don’t see how I can blaspheme, as I don’t think religion is anything but fairytales, and I don’t blaspheme if I speak against Hansel and Grethel, or Goldilocks. I most likely don’t blaspheme if I believe thunder is an electrical discharge, and not Thor or Zevs going about their business. So how can it be blasphemy if I don’t believe in Muhammed or Jesus, and what they supposedly did?
“I’ve come here to fight for Islam. We won’t allow any bloggers to blaspheme our religion and our beloved Prophet Mohammed,” Shahidul Islam, an imam at a mosque outside Dhaka who walked 20km, told AAP.
I have come here to fight for freedom of speech! We won’t allow any bloggers to be hung for speaking up against oppressive religions, be it Christianity, Islam, or any other.
Now, sod off and stop killing people in the name of imaginary gods!
I am going to write about North Korea in this post. It’s got nothing to do with my atheism, but a lot to do with my humanitarism, so I still think it’s a valid topic.
As I’m sure you know, the situation is critical at the moment. The North Korean regime are even more agressive in their rethoric than usial, and when even China gets anxious something is really wrong.
I think that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, has grown up on a bed of lies. Seriously, his grandfather and father have ruled a nation with no opposition since the 50’s. No opposition, because it’s been irradicated. It’s seen as treason to oppose the regime. The people of North Korea has been lied to as well, and by now, almost 60 years after the cease fire, they might believe whatever the regime tell them. That is not a healthy society!
As an old punk (the music genre, and lifestyle) I think every society need a strong opposition. Someone that have no problems putting on some steel toed sneakers to kick those in charge! No, I’m not talking about riots, anarchism, or bombing – what I mean is people who question their leaders, media (music mostly, but also mass media) that dare tell the people what they think is wrong, and last, but not least, people who will take to the streets to demonstrate against unfairness and negligence from their leaders. (Like the Occupy Wallstreet, and the Arab Spring.)
Kim, the North Korean leader has no safety valve like this. He lives in the fairytale world constructed by his grandfather and father. I think he actually believe he’s awesome, that he’s right, and that his shit smells like flowers! Nobody in North Korea will ever tell him he’s wrong.
When it comes to the rest of the world, I’m moderately hopeful. The US send warships and -planes to the area, as expected. They are allied with South Korea, and we all konw that the US feel like the world police. What suprised me at first is that the Chinese are getting anxious, and mobilize soldiers at the border to North Korea. Not to support NK, but to try to keep them from doing anything stupid. The UN’s leader is from South Korea, so whatever they do, I think NK will see it as South Korean politics. Unfortunately.
All in all – it’s a tense situation, and I hope it can be solved peacefully, but I’m not sure…